1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Simpson (By Request)
House Bill 1446
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT IN CRIMINAL CASES, EXCEPT CAPITAL CASES, TEN OR MORE JURORS MAY RETURN A VERDICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) In the trial of criminal offenses, except capital offenses, in the circuit or county courts of this state, ten (10) or more jurors may agree on the verdict and return it into court as the verdict of the jury. Either party may request an instruction in writing to this effect and it shall thereupon be the duty of the trial judge to instruct the jury in writing that if ten (10) or more jurors agree on the verdict that they may return the same into open court as the verdict of the jury.
(2) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, only, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Criminal offenses" means:
(i) Any offense specifically classified as a felony in the statute creating the offense or its punishment;
(ii) Any offense in which the maximum punishment authorized by the Legislature is:
1. Imprisonment in the State Penitentiary or in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of one year or more or for life; or
2. Death and in the prosecution of which the death penalty is not sought by the state; or
(iii) Any misdemeanor offense which is tried in circuit or county court or indictment for such offense or as a lesser offense of an offense defined in subsection 2(a)(i) or (ii) of this section.
(b) "Capital offenses" means any criminal offense for which the maximum punishment authorized by the Legislature is death, and in the prosecution of which the death penalty is actually being sought by the state.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.